Competitor intelligence research is vital for any organization that wants to stay ahead of their industry.
Knowing what’s coming can help you make informed decisions at exactly the right time. You can prevent losses, outwit your competition, and learn how to improve your own operation.
These 7 killer tools will help you use digital technology to its fullest, by automating much of the research process.
1. Google Alerts
An oldie but a goodie, Google Alerts is a staple research tool for anyone. By plugging in a given phrase or keyword, you can receive regular emails that keep you up to date on the subject of your choice.
For instance, you can monitor:
- Brand names
- And so on
Alerts save you from having to manually type in search queries. Rather than combing the web daily or weekly, you can simply have the web come to you.
Page2RSS.com turns any page you want into an RSS feed.
For instance, if you want to monitor job postings on competitor sites, you can use Page2RSS to turn the job listing page into a custom RSS feed. Any time a job is posted, the feed will be updated.
You can monitor anything that will be updated on the public web, from products to people.
IFTTT receives lots of attention…and for good reason.
This tool allows you to create a variety of input triggers that output to any number of output channels.
- Any time an RSS feed is updated, you can receive a text message, an email, an Android alert, and so on. Combine this with services such as Page2RSS.com and imagine the possibilities.
- Social media feeds that match certain search terms can be combined into daily or weekly email digests.
- Social posts by certain accounts can become triggers that feed into other output channels, from blog posts to emails to social media posts.
4. UBot Studios
UBot Studios is the ultimate automation tool, taking IFTTT one step further.
It is a complete drag-and-drop web and data automation tool. It allows you to create software programs from scratch that automate web tasks, email tasks, and data tasks. You can create ones that crawl the web and scrape data, check and respond to emails, and so on.
When combined with powerful tools such as IFTTT, the possibilities are endless.
Here are just a few examples of what you can do with UBot:
- Build a web bot that scrapes competitor product prices and dumps those into a spreadsheet. Add another subroutine that adjusts your prices to match competitor prices.
- Need a function, statistic, or metric that your analytics software doesn’t provide? Have UBot track the metric for you, then log in through a web portal to put it where it needs to go.
- Pull data from IFTTT output feeds – such as lists of users who tweet about a certain hashtag – and input that into a database.
For a more robust tool, try RivalIQ.
It is a competitive intelligence tool that measures engagement, analyzes posts, and keeps you updated on competitor activity. This tool generates reports on all of the metrics and content that it tracks, so you can keep track of all the data in one place.
If you have the budget and want a prepackaged competitive intelligence tool, RivalIQ is worth a try.
Prices start at $199 per month.
6. Simply Measured
Like RivalIQ, Simply Measured offers robust social analytics.
It is designed for the largest brands, and boasts clients such as Samsung and Kia. Pricing starts at $500 per month and it has a range of features to back up these steep rates.
For instance, Simply Measured will analyze engagement rates for competitors’ Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages, Instagram accounts, and so on. Its free tool even allows you to analyze post engagement for a certain period of time, breaking down engagement rates so you can read deeper into your competitors’ strategy.
Ontolo is an advanced tool for advanced marketers.
Using cutting-edge, proprietary search technology, it is able to parse web pages in ways that other engines just can’t. Ultra-detailed data can be extracted from these pages, then put to use by your marketing team. The right use of Ontolo will probably give you deeper insight than any other tool out there, allowing you to stay ten steps ahead of your competition…instead of one.
One major advantage to Ontolo versus its predecessors and its competitors is its speed. Previously, it would take far too long to analyze the volume of data required by major brands. But Ontolo’s technology cuts the edge, stating, “If you want 100,000 URLs analyzed, right now, you will have them in under 30 seconds.”
Every business – from local to international – needs to engage in competitor research. These 7 killer tools will help you gain insight into what your competitors are up to, so you can make the right moves at exactly the right time.